Teaching is never boring, but it is important for me to keep things fresh each year and that takes conscious thought about what space I want to be in mentally to reevaluate my role as teacher. The latest Reflective Teacher blog prompt is:
What resources do you take advantage of to update yourself professionally?
The obvious answers recently are learning from others on Twitter and reflecting on my practice through blogging. However, when I think deeper about using these two resources my fascination isn’t about the tools. It’s about interactive design. They both allow for an easy flow of conversation and blogging incorporates aspects of good design.
I’ve always loved design. One of my career choices was to be a graphic designer and I’ve also dabbled in interior design classes. Despite those two interests, I am still drawn to the classroom. It isn’t really all that surprising when you consider that I love curriculum design, enjoy setting up my room, and that my next professional move is to get a master’s degree in educational technology. I decided against considering curriculum and instruction as my area of focus because even though I want to be involved in instruction, I believe we need instructional coaches who understand technology as it relates to instruction.
It’s not that I’m a believer that technology in education solves all problems. I still love a well written paper, a well told story, and getting out the markers and paint sets. However, the choice to use technology to share learning in new ways and with new audiences is equally exciting. It also allows the child with very poor handwriting and drawing skills to execute an amazing project without worry of the teacher only noticing the smudged paper and ill formed letters!
The Ted Talk below is so enjoyable. The featured speaker is Paola Antonelli, the senior curator at Moma’s Dept. of Architecture and Design. She speaks about moving into unknown territory, renaming what should be relevant, and taking the ups and downs of this path with humor and grace. These are recurring themes among teachers exploring educational technology. This is where I’m heading and it keeps me moving forward with a smile on my face even on the most challenging day.